Like any other digital marketing channel, email marketing can either positively impact your business or become a colossal pain if you do not follow certain basic rules. Today I’m going to help clarify what those basic rules are and explain the importance of each. This will hopefully give you a better understanding of these golden rules to drive your email results to new heights.


First Rule: Identify Yourself

People should never have to read your email to determine who you are and why you have sent them an email. Therefore, creating an identity and answering the two questions “who” and “why” are the first steps toward succeeding in email marketing. When you send emails to your customers, make sure your “from” line is always consistent. For example, if you put “ABC Company,” make sure all emails send come from ABC Company. Changing the “from” line might confuse your customers and ultimately lead them to ask one of those two questions you don’t ever want them ever ask.

Second Rule: Keep It Short and to the Point

A Rule of thumb with emails: you have exactly one second to catch a reader’s attention this and three seconds to hold it. You can add as much content as you would like, just keep those two things in mind. My personal preference is to keep the content short and to the point because I find helps maximize my click through rate. If you have any doubt about how much content to include, I would encourage you to do an A|B test. If you have any questions on how to do an A|B test, please contact me directly at

Third Rule: Develop Trust

Trust is the most important aspect in all relationships, and the one between business and client base is no exception. Building trust with your customers is easy but takes time. I typically recommend “setting the expectations” when the customer signs up for your emails. Let them know how often they should expect an email and what type of content the email will contain. Building trust is all about staying true to your word so if you promised an email twice a week, send an email twice a week. If you mentioned that you’ll be providing discounts and tips, be sure to keep a good balance between promotional emails and the tips you promised.

Fourth Rule: Look Pretty!

First impressions are crucial. A poorly designed email doesn’t really entice the recipient to read the email at all. Going back to my rule regarding a reader’s attention, you have one second to catch it and three seconds to hold it. You are far more likely to grab someone’s attention with a nice image rather than a headline. This is even truer today with the rise in smart phone and tablet users. I always recommend grabbing a user’s attention with a nice graphic and keep it with relevant and quality content.

Fifth Rule: Segment Your List

Not everyone on your email list is in the same place in developing a business relationship with you.  What this means is, in order to send the “right message” to the “right person.” you can’t simply have a single message for everyone on your list. You have to create certain segments to allow for different messaging. For example, someone who just subscribed to your email list won’t be able to relate to the content that you send to someone who has been on your email list for many years. Another example would be separating your active users from your inactive users. A customer who loves your brand and always participates in your promotions doesn’t require the same messaging as someone who sees your promotional email and still doesn’t engage. Those inactive users need more than just a discount sometimes, so creating a separate segment with content that caters to them will help maximize your overall click-through rate.

Sixth Rule: Provide a Clear Call to Action

The main purpose of sending an email is to get the user to your website. Whether you want them to submit a lead or read your latest tips to them, you always want them on your site. With that said, keep the following formula in mind when creating a layout for your next email. First, you want to, deliver the message to your reader. What was the original reason you were emailing them? If it’s for a promotion, than inform them of the promotion. Once you’ve delivered your message to your reader, you want to then tell them what you want them to do with that message. For example, if you’re offering 20% off when callers mention a promo code, letting them know about the discount is the first step. Telling them to pick up the phone and call would the follow up.

Another thing to keep in mind with Call-to-Action buttons is that it’s always best practice to keep the button “above the fold”. What this means is, a reader should be able to look at your email and see the button to click on without actually having to scroll down.

Keeping these six golden rules in mind, you’ll take your first steps to creating a rock star email marketing program for your customers. That said, there is far more to email marketing than just these six rules so stay tuned for more helpful blogs. For questions or recommendations on what blog you want to see next, please feel free to send me an email at